Lost in Thought

One aspect of my introversion drives some people crazy – especially my wife. I get lost in thought.

Take one morning last week, for example. It had rained and stormed the night before, so we took the hanging baskets from the porch and set them in the lawn to get rained on. Before heading to work, I walked out the front door and picked up the baskets to place them back on the hooks. Then I walked down the front walk to my car in the driveway, got in, and began backing up toward the street. But before I could get too far, I heard a sound as the car hit something. The tree that had fallen into our driveway.

Look closely - do you see the tree in the driveway?

Yep. Right in front of the house, no more than 60 feet from the front door. I walked within twenty feet of it before getting in my car. And I didn’t see it.

We all have those moments, distracted by things that are floating around in our thoughts. Sometimes while we are in a meeting, or a conference call. You know, a time when paying attention could be the most important thing for you to be doing right now. Like when you are DRIVING A CAR!!!!

My mornings are my thought times. No more kids to get off to school. My wife works part time, so most mornings I am on my own in the house. And that time between getting up and getting into the office is productive for me. Thinking. Solving a problem or two if I am lucky. Sometimes I have to grab my phone and record an idea before it drifts back from whence it came.

So the cautious thinker, the family member known as “Mr. Safety” is humbled by a change in the landscape. I could make the argument that I shouldn’t expect to find a tree in my driveway. But I have no excuse for why I didn’t notice it.

So now I wonder – what else am I missing when I’m in my thoughts? Or more importantly, am I saving the right times for getting lost?

How about you – when your brain is ready to innovate, are you in a safe place? Can you put your attention entirely to your thoughts?

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